Heartache

Tears, Anger, Frustration…

Gracie is 14 weeks old

Gracie is 14 weeks old

The question that resonates across my heart is why the Weimaraner must pay for human error? We get all kinds of notes. Some of them come from other countries. Many notes are from people who resonate with what we are doing, and appreciate our daily post. We find it interesting to see that people from other countries often partake–Portugal, Malaysia, Ireland, Slovenia, Australia, United Kingdom, South Africa, France, Italy, Canada,  Czech Republic, Turkey, Brazil,  and Sweden to mention a few regular visitors. Some notes are those seeking our advice, and wanting us to fix their problem. It is impossible to keep up with everything, but we do our best. Our focus is toward the OwyheeStar client.

OwyheeStar Weimaraner News

Our goal is to post some universal information to help Weimlovers; however, specific support and advice is more directed (or available) to OwyheeStar clients. Even then, there is only so much we can do from afar. Unfortunately, the Weimaraner is known to exploit your weaknesses. The environment, and how the human handles the situation as it unfolds makes a huge difference.  Later this week, Gracie (pictured here) will be featured. She is fourteen-weeks old, and very well adjusted. We were happy to receive the great news from her humans in Reno, NV.

The good, the bad, and the downright ugly…

Some notes leave us feeling exhilarated (like the one from Gracie’s owner). Others bring on tears,  cause anger, and frustration. There is a reason that the rescue organizations find themselves busy. People all too often fail to understand this breed.  People are attracted to this breed for many a reason. They may have met one along the path; they may have spied an elegant,  lovely, and well-behaved gray ghost at the beach. They have friends that have them. They had one as a child. The list is long. The reasons many. Unfortunately, too many Weimaraners end up being shuffled around, because they fall on misfortune. 90% of of the time, this is totally related to the human-element. 

Here is the beginning and end of a note we received….

  • Beginning–“Our Weim is now 16 weeks. My husband did a lot of research and reading before picking up his pup. He has been very dedicated and tried to follow recommendations-we have raised MANY dogs-just not a weimeraner.”

  • Ending--“She is now 16 weeks and I am very sad and frustrated. I hope you can lend some advice. I simply cannot go through life like this. I am ready to give up and insist he finds a home for her. What is your advice?”

 

Our Thoughts, Comments, Insights, and ……

The note was lengthy as you might guess. No, it was not a pup from us. Nonetheless, receiving a note such as this is very discouraging, and I am going to admit it caused me to flash with anger–to have a total meltdown. It is the bane of any Weimaraner breeder worth their salt. Advice from outside doesn’t help a situation like this. In our experience, the person requesting the advice may not follow through with it. In fact, it may be too much for them to do so.

What had happened was not the pup’s fault. My heart still aches for this pup, and the situation. Regardless, Cliff and I cannot fix all these problems. We sincerely hope that some of the information we are posting will help someone, but it gets overwhelming. There is a reason the rescue folks have an endless amount of work. This note brings into question where their breeder is, and what are they doing to resolve the situation. Sometimes, there is not much a breeder can do, but it does beg the question. Secondly, where is the trainer? Having said that, not every trainer is going to get these folks out of their situation. The wrong advice, and the wrong trainer is going to exacerbate the situation. Again, the breeder needs the details, and needs to be involved. Finally, we don’t know where the pup was purchased. A lot of people raise the Weimaraner and sell them without providing adequate support. (Which is why we get overrun at times with people having problems.) Finally, it is important when behavior issues arise to get a veterinary check to make sure they are not medical in nature.

Ultimately, by sixteen weeks these folks have an issue going on that is going to be tough to resolve. It is not the typical puppy-biting issue. The problem is as we always talk about–the concrete-thinking Weimaraner has started a habit these folks cannot abide. The behavior by all appearances is coupled with separation-anxiety, and possibly involves some pay-back for being in the Weim’s viewpoint abandoned,  with a touch of manipulation–which has gotten them what they wanted. Even at sixteen-weeks this is going to be a long-haul to turn around. It takes fourteen days for a habit to begin. They say that is true for a good or bad one. Regardless, this type of issue is not going to be easy to get fourteen-days of consecutive success. It is more a live-with, and figure-out how to work through situation.

Folks, the final statement sent me over-the-top to beyond upset. Frustration and a feeling of being ready to give up is not a good place to be at sixteen-weeks. It is indeed the rare person who will see something like this through to the positive outcome. In all honesty, when a person has reached such an impasse at such as early stage, it seems returning the pup to the breeder is the best solution. Nothing good will come of the frustration. We understand that things can be tough, but our heart still aches the most for this puppy. It is why we harp on getting things done right up front. Our clients are probably tired of us talking about freedom being earned. They may be weary of us talking about teaching the Weimaraner how to be able to stay alone. Nonetheless, these are two of the  basics that if they are not mastered early-on can lead to serious trouble. Tears might not be the end of it. Unfortunately, it all too often leads to the terrible reality of failure. This type of failure haunts a person for a good many years.

It is our goal to never have such a thing happen to an OwyheeStar puppy; however, that is unrealistic. We (humans) make a lot of mistakes–all of us. The Information-Age woos people through television and the Internet to certain trainers and their philosophies. Not all of these approaches are going to work across the board. Training is mostly for the humans to learn how to handle their dog. We are each unique. Many of these methods are less than ideal for the Weimaraner. You (as the human in the equation) will want to evoke an attitude whereby the Weimaraner wants to obey, and respond in a positive manner. It is all about the relationship being the foundation. Love is not enough. You can love your Weimaraner and fail to manage the situation; this is beyond heartbreaking. Then utter frustration sets in, and one thing feeds upon the other. Sometimes a person must get out of the situation. Usually, this is not the case. Don’t be quick to give up. We are of the mind and heart, that you began the journey you should keep your commitment. Nevertheless, at the same time we realize many people cannot. The breeder should be engaged in the situation, and willing to rehabilitate the Weimaraner. This can take months of work, and a lot of special savvy to accomplish. A second-chance placement means it is imperative to get the Weimaraner placed right–in a true forever home. This is why the owner resorting to finding  new home through the newspaper, or Craig’s list would not be a good idea. Neither of these options is a good choice for rehoming the Weimaraner. It takes a personal understanding of what the Weim needs, and skills to access the situation. Getting it right is a must; it is unfair to have them floating from one placement to the next. It is our goal to avoid this scenario. Therefore, we keep driving home that the most important advice we can give to anyone is to get it right up front. Good habits are better to form, than trying to change a behavior. There are many OwyheeStar blogs on how to do this, and we would be amiss not to list them with you. So, here you go……

How to Achieve Success…

The Sad TruthAlthough we are passionate about the breed, we cannot help everyone with their Weimaraner problems. Screening potential homes, and educating would-be Weimaraner folks as to the varied pitfalls is important. No one should go into raising the Weimaraner without being prepared to do a lot more than raising and selling pups. We get countless inquiries for a Weimaraner to breed. To us–that is a scary thought 99% of the time. If you read between the lines, our goal is to prevent this kind of situation from happening whenever possible. Our heart goes out to this family. Yes, we are terribly upset at the same time. It comes back to the same question. Where is the breeder in this equation? It is also why we scrutinize long-distance placements with intensity. Having something go wrong from afar is scary. A day’s drive is one thing, but further distances do not afford an easy return of a pup. We sincerely hope someone finds this blog useful, and it makes a difference. 

About OwyheeStar

We are Professional Weimaraner breeders--with forty years experience at raising puppies. For many years, we have focused exclusively on the Weimaraner! If you are considering the Weimaraner, or live with one, we welcome you to sign up to our blog. We sincerely hope you will find the information, the stories, and varied posts insightful (as well as entertaining). To those who live with an OwyheeStar Weimaraner, we send special thanks. We appreciate the photos, the news, and your friendship. Thank you for being a part of the extended OwyheeStar family.

Posted on June 9, 2014, in Behavior & Training, Health and Wellness, Hot Topics, Information and Education and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I agree with you it’s never the pups fault. That, imho we have to perceive first. To raise a Weimaraner is a challenge, no matter how much dogs we raised or we had before. I have to admit that I sometimes was on the end of all wisdom too. I never planned to give Easy up, but there were moments where I had to leave the house to find a quiet place where I cried. I hope the best for this pup and I hope the owners can manage the problems.

  2. Amen

    Finding a quiet place is important. Our Weims read us so well. We add to the issues, and the pile up like Club Sandwich (layer upon layer). Sadly, this happens to often when the person is trying to do what is right. A few times we have tried to tell a person who would not listen. For example, baby gating a untrained Weimaraner in a room will lead to on-going issues. They may think it is perfectly OK to potty there forever. Oh my……….but like I said, sometimes there is no convincing some folks that this method is best skipped for most Weims.

  3. I agree :o) the worst is that they are sometimes on kamikaze missions, where they do the craziest things no dog ever did :o) and they know exactly how to push the button :o)

  4. Yes, and if you get in the type of pickle these folks are in (and I didn’t mention), because to do so,……….is to say the straight truth, and that is totally offensive, there is no easy way to get out. We Weim-addicts love them like nothing else. Regardless, we have all experience hair-pulling moments. Those moments when we wish someone else could give us the quick-fix solution. Oh my………………. rarely does that happen.

  5. I don’t know exactly what their weimaraner has been up to, but I can only imagine. I’ve had 3 weimaraners including my Owhyee 2 year old “Sunny”, and they’ve all been so different. Although I consider myself just a “beginner” at dog handling and training, I’ve made a few observations about people and their dogs over the years.

    1. I think people underestimate how much time and effort it takes to get a puppy through their 1st two years, and onto an easy “equilibrium” of living in peace with their dog. The weim has to be a huge part of life for an owner and not just a side hobby competing with a their already busy schedule.

    2. People make too many excuses for their dogs bad behavior and often live in denial about what is really happening. They wait way too long until the behavior is entrenched, to ask for help. A good dog trainer that is familiar with weims can often solve a problem pretty quickly if the problem is caught early.

    3. People sometimes panic while their weim is growing and pushing the limits. With a little consulting from the experts, standing firm and not giving in, and lots of love, things get much better with time.

    I certainly don’t think of myself as the perfect weim owner, but I listened to good solid advice from Owheestar. Even though I love to have my weim with me all the time, I started leaving him alone for longer and longer periods. Now he’s just fine when I don’t take him to work with me. Although he’s spoiled and sleeps on my bed at night, he’s learned what is expected of him, and that I’m not a “push over”…..

  6. This is an excellent article Shela, and I also feel that Rod Jones’ comments are spot-on. The one thing that really struck me in the beginning and ending of the note that you posted, is that the writer talks about her husband did the research on “his” pup and that she may insist that “he” finds a home for the pup…that terminology is a big red flag that it was not a family decision to get a family dog. And isn’t it interesting that she is the one writing to you instead of her husband? It sounds to me like she probably didn’t really want the dog to begin with, maybe no matter what the breed, and now they are having issues (like we all do with puppies) and she is putting her foot down. Where is their breeder in all this??? I am guessing that if you or I had interviewed these folks as potential puppy purchasers, we would have seen the big red flag at the start and not allowed them to have one of our precious puppies. However, sometimes as we know, we breeders are not provided with all the pertinent info to make the proper decision. As a trainer, I also deal with lots of folks who are frustrated with their pups- I can provide them guidance, but the success rests fully on the owners’ shoulders to provide the puppy with the proper raising and training techniques. I hope those folks get turned around and whatever decision they make, make it for the pup’s best interests.

  7. I think you have done awesome things with Sunny. I love that you have balanced the lifestyle, and keep him guessing as to what will happen today. Thanks for everything!

  8. I think they are going to get it turned around. As you well know, the sooner the better. Nevertheless, what they are facing is going to take fortitude to see through to the end. I believe it can be done, but it is going to develop character in their lives.

    Yes, if they would have applied with us, they probably would not have liked that I would have questioned certain things. Some people walk away. I always figure, if I see what might be a red flag, hurting someone’s feelings is a secondary concern. Our responsibility is to the puppy, and the placement You can tell a lot about a person when you tell them something that is other than they want to hear. No one likes to hear the cold hard truth when it doesn’t align with what we are thinking. Regardless, it can bring us to a life-changing experience. In the end, we are better for it. In the short haul, it can be excruciatingly painful on every level.

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